Design Museum and Deutsche Bank announce the year 10 team from Cambourne Village College, Cambridge, as the winners of the 2021-2022 Design Ventura prize. This year, more than 18,000 students from 397 schools participated in the competition, out of which ‘Eco Seed’, designed by the students from Cambridge has been selected as the winning design. The design will be manufactured and sold at the Design Museum Shop for £11.99 with all profits going to Motor Neurone Association (MND), a charity of the student’s choice.
This year, students were invited to answer a live brief which was set by award-winning artist and Pentagram Partner Yuri Suzuki. Students work as a design team to develop a product concept for a target audience, considering the packaging, cost and ways to market their idea. A record 397 schools took part in this year’s Design Ventura competition. Significantly this is 9.5% of the 4,190 registered secondary schools in the UK. The overall winner was selected from a shortlist of ten schools who pitched their ideas to a panel of leading design and business experts including Yuri Suzuki, Sound Artist and Designer and Design Ventura 2021-22 brief setter; Rosa Bertoli, Design Editor at Wallpaper*; Sebastian Conran, Designer and Trustee at the Design Museum; Preena Patel, Buying and Merchandising Manager at the Design Museum; and Christoph Woermann, Chief Marketing Officer of Corporate Bank Marketing at Deutsche Bank Lareena Hilton, Global Head of Brand Communications and CSR Deutsche Bank said: ‘Deutsche Bank is proud to continue supporting Design Ventura. With the World Economic Forum listing problem solving, critical thinking and creativity amongst the top ten skills needed for work in 2025, it’s clear how the programme helps students’ readiness for their futures in work. We know from the programme’s in-depth evaluation that almost 100% of teachers see an improvement in the confidence and ambition of their students, and we are delighted that Design Ventura continues to be a springboard for the next generation of design talent.’
The Cambourne Village College team were intrigued by the idea of growing seeds with minimal resources. Using this idea as a foundation they created five prototypes until they finalised on ‘Eco Seed’. Designed as a doughnut shaped grid which floats on water, ‘Eco Seed’ keeps the seeds or plants moist, provoking them to germinate whilst allowing the user to observe the plant's growth. Once the roots have grown, the plants can be easily removed from the product and planted.
Environmentally conscious products featured heavily in this year's shortlist with several plant-based designs submitted. However, Eco Seed won out with judges praising its unique idea of letting you view the process of germination from tip to root with your naked eye and educating people about the life cycle of plants. Fiona MacDonald, Head of Learning at the Design Museum said: ‘‘Eco Seed’ brings a new perspective on the much-loved pot plant. It creates a delightful and curious way to watch a seed germinate and grow. Utilising intelligent engineering as well as elegant design, it celebrates what often happens in the soil – normally always out of sight - as much as what happens above. It is fantastic to see students thinking and designing with such environmental awareness.’
Yuri Suzuki, Sound Artist and Designer and Design Ventura 2021 Brief Setter said: ‘I was so impressed by the projects. During the selection process, we were all full of excitement. I would like to say thank you to all the emerging designers for the incredible moment.’ The Cambourne Village College student team will now be working with a professional design agency to develop and manufacture their product for sale in the Design Museum Shop from Autumn 2022 with all funds going to their selected charity Rainforest Concern. The list of shortlisted schools include:
● 1st place - Cambourne Village College’s Eco Seed
● 2nd place - Tiffin School’s Drummable
● 3rd place - Salford City Academy’s Tongue Twister Test
● Commendation for best presentation - Liverpool Blue Coat School’s Designosaur
● Commendation for Ingenuity - Orleans Park School’s The Sturdy Stabiliser
● Commendation for Most Market Ready Product - South Wilts Grammar School’s Gender Jigsaw
● Commendation for Good Design Process - Ferndown Upper School’s Flip-It!
● Outstanding Finalist - Prendergast Ladywell School’s Grow Your Story
● Outstanding Finalist - The Piggott School’s Corky
● Outstanding Finalist - County Upper School’s Sunny London
The run-up to the Christmas holidays is always an exciting period: winding down school for the term and taking part in fun class activities is all part of the seasonal excitement. This time presents opportunities for all manner of activities, with crafting being a long-running favourite. Take this special time of year to explore a variety of crafting activities, and see how simply children can create lovely gifts, cards and decorations to be taken home and treasured for the holidays.
3D printers are one of the hottest new innovations in the manufacturing and design world, and this new tech is fast moving past its infancy. To many, it's a technology that seems futuristic for the time in which we live, never mind the classroom – but nevertheless is one that holds enormous potential not just in the STEM industries, but in schools as well.
Design Technology in schools has been going through a rough patch for many years now, as it tries to shake-off its image of a stuffy subject making bird-boxes and cushions for no real reason other than teaching out-dated, limited-use skills. In many areas of Asia there is also a lack of understanding of the subject, and it is often judged as a less academic and therefore less important subject. Despite swathes of students progressing to universities to study Engineering, Design Technology often doesn’t have large numbers of students opting for the subject and parents fail to appreciate the value of the curriculum.
Capturing the attention of a classroom full of over-zealous students and making them want to learn more about your ‘pet subject’ is often something of a challenge and a source of frustration to all concerned, so any prop or piece of technology that helps is usually welcomed with open arms by the hard pressed class tutor. More often than not, however, such magical enablers have been hard to come by. This (in my experience, anyway) often leads to countless wasted hours of futile planning and crafting followed inevitably by the sullen after school destruction of exercise sheets, Powerpoint slide-shows and lesson notes all destined for that every growing bin that is usually filed as ‘My Old Lesson Plans’.